Vermonters Feeding Vermonters
A program to purchase high quality fruits and vegetables directly from Vermont growers to share with Vermonters facing hunger
Everyone deserves access to the fresh, local food that Vermont has in such abundance. This innovative new pilot program will provide Vermonters facing hunger with healthy, local food while supporting the state’s agricultural economy, an integral component of the Vermont way of life.
How does it work?
As we pilot this program for the 2018 growing season, we will focus on local fruits and vegetables. The Foodbank and farmers will agree upon a quantity, price, and delivery schedule prior to the growing season. Our goal will be to purchase and distribute more than 160,000 lbs. of produce acquired from local farmers. During the harvest season, farmers will provide regular deliveries to one of our three branches. Foodbank staff will then distribute the produce to Vermonters facing hunger through our existing channels, including our well-established VeggieVanGo program, delivering directly to school and hospital communities, and through our 215 partner food shelves, meal sites, senior centers and after school programs
For our pilot year, we are working with 9 Vermonter farmers and 2 distributors.
- Chappelle’s Potatoes, Williamstown, Washington County
- Dutchess Farm, Castleton, Rutland County
- Dwight Miller & Son Orchard, East Dummerston, Windham County
- Harlow Farm, Westminster, Windham County
- Jericho Settlers Farm, Jericho, Chittenden County
- Laughing Child Farm, Pawlet, Rutland County
- Maple Wind Farm, Bolton, Chittenden County
- Pitchfork Farm, Burlington, Chittenden County
- Sam Mazza Farms, Colchester, Chittenden County
- Deep Root Organic Cooperative, Johnson, Lamoille County
- Intervale Food Hub, Burlington, Chittenden County
How will this help Vermonters?
Improved health for Vermonters facing hunger – Many of the people served by the Foodbank struggle with diet-related illness; 23% of households we serve have a member with diabetes and 46% have a member with high blood pressure. By meeting the needs of our neighbors with fresh, nutritious foods, we can help them achieve better health, lower health care bills, and a higher quality of life.
Security for farmers – This program will provide an entirely new market for Vermont growers, who will benefit from the security of a known sale of large quantities of crops at a competitive wholesale price. This partnership will also offer valuable marketing visibility for local farms, giving them access to new audiences.
A stronger Vermont economy – By purchasing food locally, we will be financially supporting the Vermont agricultural economy. Based on large-scale wholesale food purchasing research conducted by the Center for Rural Studies at UVM, every dollar spent on locally produced food contributes an additional 60 cents to the Vermont economy. This means that the power of the Vermonters Feeding Vermonters $130,000 pilot year purchasing multiplies into $208,000 invested in Vermont’s economy. Farmers will have more capital to invest in their operations, as well as money to support other local businesses.
A reduced environmental footprint – By purchasing locally, the food that we provide will be fresher and last longer, with less waste. In addition, the amount of fuel expended per pound of distributed food will decrease significantly, resulting in fewer pollutants in the atmosphere and in our waterways.